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NBC Nightly News

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue




Woodbridge, VA, USA

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Ukraine 14, Russia 9, Crimea 7, Bill Neely 2, Viktor Yanukovych 1, Chuck 1, Soviet Union 1, Nbc 1, Chuck Todd 1, United States 1, At Sea 1, Us 1, U.s. 1, Echos 1, Southern California 1, Georgia 1,
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  NBC    NBC Nightly News  

    February 28, 2014
    7:00 - 7:06pm EST  

on our broadcast tonight, on the edge, the russians accused of an armed invasion under way right now in the ukraine as the crisis takes a dangerous turn, later today, the president warned vladimir putin there will be costs. race against time, the storm that looks like a west coast hurricane comes to shore. the flood emergency in southern california. there have already been evacuations and rescues amid fears the burn zone will give way. and high drama, so many office drama pools are at stake, so much pride on the line as the guessing game leading up to the oscars draws to an end.
nightly news begins now. good evening, as you saw there we have a storm approaching the u.s. west coast that is big enough to have an eye like a hurricane. and we will get to that story in just a moment, but we must begin instead tonight with the fear that the situation in ukraine is perhaps approaching civil war. russian troops have been arriving by transport plane and by helicopter in the crimea region, many of them with their faces covered, wearing no insignia. if not an invasion it certainly appears to be a russian intervention in a neighboring country in a former part of the soviet union. nbc's bill neely has been watching it happen all day. he is in the ukraine, bill, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, there is a russian war memorial behind me, russia's black sea fleet has been based here in the crimea for 250
years, but none of it explains what russia has been up to today. there is no question, the russian armor and men have been on the move today, and maybe on the move tonight. a form of intervention? well, russia is admitting as much. it began in the dead of night, unknown gunmen surrounding the main airport in crimea. by day it was clear they were pro-russian and against any repeat here of ukraine's revolution. after the surprise on land came the shock in the air. russian helicopters, some gun ships flying over crimeaand what ukraine said was a violation of its air space. next, at sea, a russian war ship blocking the ukraine coast guard vessels from leaving port. the russian troops are on the move, these men blocking the main military airport where tonight hundreds more russians flew in.
ukraine says 2,000, russia says it is for security. but whose security and is that really all? along ukraine's borders, russia drilled its troops, tens of thousands of them. russian jets flying near crimea, the message to ukraine's new leaders, loud and clear. ukraine's old leader was in russia, viktor yanukovych, defiant, blaming the west for the revolution, provocative, saying russia can't be a bystander. the russian flag is outside here, barricades around it. three out of four people in crimea feel russian, speak russian and resent the west. they're nothing but fascists, this man says, helped and trained by americans.
the protests here are continuing into the night. there is no need for russia to stoke pro-moscow loyalty. this place is full of it. passions were stoked when a businessman who backed the revolution dared to appear among them. the mob chased him yelling russia and putin until he was lucky enough to escape. crimea, an historic flash point is once again tonight a volatile region. well, the main airport here in crimea is closed tonight. and russian planes have been seen arriving. echos of the invasion of georgia six years ago, echos, too, of the cold war, the east/west rivalry inside and outside ukraine is deepening. >> dicey situation, bill neely live for us outside of ukraine, thank you. also a dicey situation watching all of this. at the white house, we mentioned the president spoke earlier today. tonight our chief white house
political correspondent chuck todd has more, what are the options there, chuck? >> reporter: well, they're not saying a lot about the options yet, as you know after days of what apparently was failed behind the scenes diplomacy to convince the russians to back off, on this saber-rattling, in cr -- ukraine, the president decided to go directly to vladimir putin that there will be consequences of the report that a russian-led military coup will take place. >> just days before the invitation to the olympic games it would invite the condemnation around the world. indeed, the u.s. will stand with the world that there will be costs for any military intervention in ukraine. >> reporter: of course what the costs will be were not defined by the president and that was on purpose. an aide told me that the united states and i